Thursday, 19 July, 2018

Facebook Reportedly Kept Sharing Private Data With Firms After Promising to Stop

Facebook Reportedly Kept Sharing Private Data With Firms After Promising to Stop Facebook Reportedly Kept Sharing Private Data With Firms After Promising to Stop
Russell Knight | 11 June, 2018, 19:28

The arrangement with the companies was called the "whitelists" that allowed "certain companies to access additional information about a user's Facebook friends".

As the Wall Street Journal first reported, certain companies were, for a time, granted access to data about users, as well as data about those users' friends.

The companies had access to the data during a stretch of time in 2015 after Facebook had locked out most developers who build apps that work on its social network.

Facebook seems to be mired in yet another controversy regarding its sharing of user data.

The claims reported in The Wall Street Journal suggest Facebook kept a whitelist of partners who could access detailed data - even after the point when the social network said it had shut out this sort of access to developers.

Facebook recently has disclosed it has been sharing its users' information with about 60 device makers, including Facebook and Samsung. One former Facebook employee told the Journal, "99 percent of developers were treated the same, but 1 percent got special treatment because they accounted for all the value of the platform".

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The company said the extensions lasted several weeks and months.

"In 2014, all developers were given a year to switch to the new, more restricted version of the (app programming interface)", Archibong said.

Facebook is facing intense scrutiny for misuse of millions of its users' data after the British political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica data leak scandal became public. The sources allege that Facebook called these deals "whitelists" behind closed doors, having specifically struck them with the companies.

"As we were winding down over the year, there was a small number of companies that asked for short-term extensions, and that, we worked through with them", Facebook's Product Partnerships VP Ime Archibong told the Journal. In April, Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress after Facebook disclosed, following news reports, that as many as 87 million users' data was sold to a political ad targeting firm during the 2016 USA presidential election without the users' consent.

The companies with which the data was shared, used it for the objective of advertising and other purposes.

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